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Visiting during COVID-19

We know that the past couple of months have been hard for you - being separated from your loved one during this challenging time is difficult. 

We want you to know that our family members and visitors are an important part of our Kensington community, and we are thinking of you. We want to be there for you and help you embrace special moments with your loved one safely. 

To ensure that you are able to have meaningful moments with your loved ones, we are supporting outdoor visitation once a week with each resident, and in-room visitation daily for essential visitors. We are so pleased to be starting this new chapter in our journey, and we look forward to seeing you again. 

We’ve put together an overview of what visitation will look like at Kensington Hospice and the different precautions we have in place to keep you, your loved one and our community safe, which you can find below. Throughout the pandemic, we will adapt our visitation rules to ensure that we are following the direction of Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health. 

We are taking a careful, phased approach to having visitors. Over time, we intend on increasing visiting capacity. Please see below for important information about your upcoming visit.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to put your loved one’s health first. 


Overview of how outdoor visiting will work 

All scheduled visits will be held outdoors in our garden area unless you are an essential visitor, if death is imminent or after death (more information on in-room visitation below).

Visiting hours: We will be scheduling outdoor visits once a week for you and your loved one for up to two hours between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

How to book your visit: To schedule your visit, please give us a call at 416-963-9640 ext. 1428, or email Benhilda Chirisa, Administrative Assistant, at bchirisa@kensingtonhealth.org.

Number of visitors: For now, there will be a maximum of two visitors at a time. If you reside in the same household, there is a maximum of four visitors at a time. This restriction ensures that we are able to meet the requirements pertaining to physical distancing. There will only be one resident and their family visiting at a time.

Residents will be assessed prior to visit: Please note that we will assess your loved one prior to visits. All visits will be dependent upon the decision of the clinical team. If there is a change in the weather or resident’s health, the visit may be cancelled. You will be notified of any cancellation prior to the visit. Another visit for the week can be scheduled and the resident will be reassessed at that time.

Visiting cancelled if on COVID-19 outbreak: If there is a COVID-19 outbreak at the hospice, all visits will be cancelled until the outbreak is declared over. During this, we will continue to take direction from Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health.


Preparing for your outdoor visit

Please bring your mask: For your visit, you are required to bring in your own mask. Homemade masks and other face coverings are allowed.

There will be no bathroom access: In order to limit the number of visitors entering the hospice, please prepare to have no bathroom access for the duration of your outdoor visit.

COVID-19 testing is not required for outdoor visits.


During your outdoor visit

Arrival: When you arrive, you will be screened outside of the hospice at the front door. Your loved one will be assisted outside by the hospice team and will meet you in the designated area.

Distancing: During your visit, you must maintain 2 meters (6 feet) physical distancing at all times.

Overview of in-room visitation

To ensure you are able to have meaningful moments with your loved ones, we will also be supporting in-room visitation for essential visitors, or when death is imminent or after death. The Ministry identifies essential visitors as those who have a resident who is dying or very ill. We will identify all essential visitors at the time of your loved one’s admission.

Visiting hours: We will be scheduling daily in-room visits for essential visitors for up to two hours between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Sunday.

How to book your visit: To schedule your visit, please give us a call at 416-963-9640 ext. 1428, or email Benhilda Chirisa, Administrative Assistant, at bchirisa@kensingtonhealth.org at least 24 hours before your visit. Exceptions may be made based on our clinical team’s assessment of your loved one.

Number of visitors: For now, there will be a maximum of two essential visitors at a time.

 

Preparing for your in-room visit

Testing before coming to Kensington: All in-room essential visitors must bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken in the 14 days prior to coming to Kensington.

Click here to find your local assessment centre. Please know that it normally takes a few days to get your results.

If you are unable to get tested, or do not have your results, you may be able to have an outdoor visit, depending on the recommendation of the clinical team.


During your in-room visit

Arrival: When you arrive, you will be screened outside of the hospice at the front door. You will be screened again when leaving the hospice.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use: You will be given a surgical mask after you’ve been screened, which is required to wear while in the hospice.

Depending on the nursing and physician team’s recommendation, you may have to wear full PPE including gown and face shield, which will be provided by the hospice.

You must remain in your loved one’s room: During your visit, you will only be allowed access to your loved one’s room. If care needs to be provided, you may wait outside in the garden or the reception area of the hospice (if weather is bad).

Bathroom access: If you are coming in for an in-room visit, you are allowed to use the washroom located on the first floor behind the reception.

Meals: You can use the fridge in the room for your meals and snacks. You may also order in food, but you may not go out to a local restaurant and come back in for a visit. The hospice team can also assist with offering light snacks and beverages. If this is needed, please use the call bell in the room. Disposable utensils and dishes will be used for all visitors.


When death is imminent

Visitor restrictions will be lifted if death is imminent. You may come in for 48 hours, as determined by the nursing and physician team. If a resident becomes stable after 48 hours, normal essential visitation restrictions will resume. There will be a maximum of two visitors at a time. This limitation ensures that we are able to safely provide care while also meeting the requirements pertaining to physical distancing. One visitor can stay also stay overnight.


After death

As a way of helping support families to honour their loved one, we are permitting one visitation after death. The visitation will last one hour, and you may visit day or night after consultation with the hospice nurse. All visitors must maintain 2 meters (6 feet) physical distancing at all times, and will be asked to leave the hospice prior to the arrival of the funeral home. The hospice team will be responsible for the after-death care of your loved one, as funeral homes are not permitted to enter the hospice. Once this care has been completed, your loved one will be transferred over to the care of the funeral home. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use: You will be given a surgical mask, face shield and gown to wear, which will be provided by the hospice. Throughout your visit, please maintain six feet of physical distancing at all times.

Bathroom access: You are allowed to use the washroom located on the first floor behind the reception. 

Picking up your loved one’s belongings: If you are unable to visit after death, we can arrange for you to pick up your loved one’s belongings at reception.


New admissions

One visitor may accompany their loved one on their first day of admission to the hospice for up-to one hour.  For the first 14 days of admission, your loved one will be placed on a 14-day droplet and contact precaution isolation. In this time, there will be no garden visitations allowed, but we can always help arrange a virtual visit. If you would like to book one, please contact us.


Virtual visits

As a way of ensuring that we are supporting families to stay connected, we are providing virtual visits. If you would like to book one, please contact us.  

 

Questions? Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We are here for you. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Resources to stay safe

We encourage you to read the resources below in advance of your visit.

•    Visiting Your Loved One in the time of COVID-19. Courtesy of Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

•    How to hand wash. Courtesy of Public Health Ontario.

•    How to hand rub. Courtesy of Public Health Ontario.

•    Proper use of a cloth face mask. Courtesy of City of Toronto.

•    5 things to remember about face masks and coverings. Courtesy of City of Toronto.

•    Physical distancing. Courtesy of Government of Canada.

•    Actions you can take to stop the spread of COVID-19. Courtesy of Government of Canada.